motive matters

Several years ago, I made a decision to eat healthier and start to exercise. My hormones and blood sugar were WAY out of whack and I had packed on about 60 extra pounds. My motive at first was just to feel better and get healthier. The weight loss was just a bonus. As time went on, my motive started to change and it became all about the weight loss. I was driven. I noticed when it was just about how I looked, I lost my joy and focus and it was much harder. I kept having to get my focus back on track…back to my health. My motive affected everything…

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

Several years ago, I made a decision to eat healthier and start to exercise. My hormones and blood sugar were out of whack and I had packed on about 60 extra pounds. My motive at first was just to feel better and get healthier. The weight loss was a bonus.

before and after

As time went on, my motive started to change and it became all about the weight loss. I was driven. I noticed when my motive was just about how I looked, I lost my joy and focus and it was much harder to get to the goal. I kept having to get my focus back on track…back to my health. My motive affected everything more than I thought.

This is the time of year we usually examine ourselves and set new goals. We look at last year, reassess, and see what needs changed for the future.

Paul was talking here about obtaining a goal and pressing on toward a prize. What was that goal and prize? Knowing Him. If you read the verses leading up to these ones, you will see that Paul talks about his purpose. I want to know Him. I want to know His power. I want to be found in Him. These were the purposes of Paul’s life.

Paul was writing this at the end of his life. He was in his first imprisonment. In a few short years He would be martyred and gone. He had walked with the Lord for years. He had traveled the world preaching the gospel on countless missionary journeys. He saw God work miracle after miracle through Him. He knew the Word. He knew His voice. He wrote over half of the New Testament. Paul KNEW Him.

Paul had accomplished some amazing things for God, and yet he says that he counted them all as garbage, rubbish, and trash next to the value of knowing Him. What he did was not his goal in life…it wasn’t his motives.

We hang our achievements on the wall. We look back at them with fond remembrance and talk about them a lot. We might even write books about them. But we need to ask ourselves….Are the achievements WHY we do what we do?

Paul said, “My motive is not about what I have done or even what I have yet do. My only motive and purpose in life, the one thing I want to achieve with my life, is to know Him more and more! I forget what is behind me and I press on to know Him more.”

I am 43 years old and have walked with the Lord for more than half my life. I have had some high highs and some low lows and lots of in-betweens. I have lived through times of abundance and through times of lack. There have been times when life was filled with friends and times when I have felt all alone. The one constant has been Him. He has always been with me.

There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling than living your life just to know Him. Nothing satisfies more than reading and studying His Word – not just for a sermon or a blog post, but to find Him. Nothing is quite as sweet as the saturating goodness of His presence. And once you’ve tasted it…you long for it. You crave it. You can’t live without it.

So that is my goal this year. That is my motive this year – to do everything I do and give all that I have just to know Him. Just to be found in Him. Just to be near Him. Every dream I could have or any thing I could want is found in Him anyway. I want to make knowing Him my purpose and drive and desire this year. How about you?

As for me, I will continue to behold Your face in righteousness. I shall be fully satisfied when I awake to find myself beholding Your form and having sweet communion with You. (Psalm 17:15 AMP)

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